All of us, no matter who we are, need to practice financial management. The only way you will ever be free of this is to earn enough to ensure the lifelong service of a familial household accountant. It’s unlikely you have the means to do this. Don’t worry – not many do.
However, not all of us are experts in financial handling. Astonishingly, we’re taught relatively little about this at school. We’re taught very little about taxes. About how to manage debt. About what to do when coming into an inheritance. But we’re expected to learn all of this through guides we find ourselves, or simply trial and error and personal experience.
If you’ve been reading our content for some time – you know that we prize shrewd financial handling and care with your hard-earned cash. Let us throw another idea into the arena – gamifying your finances. To gamify, or gamification, is the art of turning activities into fun activities, games with tasks to be ‘played’ rather than worked through.
A great example of this is how treadmills and exercise bikes often have select modes, such as time trials, rolling hills, and other simulations – all designed to help you enjoy your progress. Even the best dream casino options will offer this. But how do you gamify your finances? Purchase video games? Not quite.
Let us explore further. Please, join us for the ride:
Why Even Bother?
There’s real psychology at work here. Humans are wired to find pleasure in simple tasks, but when it comes to financial management, things can seem a little vague and up in the air. This is especially true if you have some half-goals somewhat thought out regarding how you’d like your finances to be at a certain point in time.
When you complete a goal during your gamified financial progression, it feels more than just the reward of having good, in check finances. It can help reward and incentivize that action and generally help you feel more drawn towards it. It’s a strange manner in which we operate. For example, if you were asked to build a brick wall from scratch, you’d probably feel a little tiresome of the idea. But if you were asked to lay bricks down carefully, one by one, as perfectly as you could – you’d feel as though this bitesize effort would be much more comfortable to deal with – and each brick would be an achievement. Digesting goals in this way, particularly vague goals such as good financial health, could be the best measure you take when going forward to this aim.
Setting goals can seem like an obvious thing to achieve with your finances. You likely wish to purchase a house with a mortgage one day, buy that new phone by the end of the year, or upgrade your car by a certain time. But if you have the time to establish them, smaller goals can honestly be just as enjoyable to hammer out and experience. For example, you might decide that setting miniature goals to be achieved each day or week could be worthwhile. Let us use some small situations to back up this point. You may decide that once a day, you will suppress the urge to spend on an impulse item, such as that extra muffin with your coffee, or on that nice shirt, you see in the window of a high street store.
This can lead to the achievement of that goal, which also saves you money. If you manage to suppress seven impulse purchases you might have made otherwise, you might treat yourself to something worth a certain amount. This allows you to incentivize being more disciplined with your finances, yet also rewards you with a portion of the sum saved. Little things like this can often make all the difference, as they add up over time.
Give Yourself A Score
Consider giving certain positive financial actions a certain score, and certain negative actions a negative score. Then, start at zero. If you save, become frugal, work overtime, sell unused belongings, or perhaps hold your own if being asked to pay for something for your friend without warning, you might add to your point score. Similarly, if you fail to pay a certain debt by a certain time, you overspend on a night out, or you find yourself making a common financial mistake, detract points from your total.
Then, when calculating your score, keep all of this in mind. Then, once again, set rewards, but this time, also punishments. If you drop a number of points, you have to clean the entirety of your house, from top to bottom, that weekend. If you gain a point, you might treat yourself to dinner out with a family member.
You needn’t be overly draconian with this. But sometimes having a segmented and careful approach that you stick to can work absolute wonders for your needs, and give you much more to work within the long term.
Find The Root Of Your Issues
There’s a problem with applying your gamification too harshly. If you make a mistake, it might magnify your issues, especially if you’re not really good with reaching targets. It’s easy to forget that financial handling has a great deal of emotional worth within it, worth that can make you feel less or more depending on your outreach.
Finding the root of your issues, if gamified, might be a worthwhile leap forwards. For example, take your last five negative financial decisions. Were they because you spend too much in social circumstances? Why not make a game about that, and focus on something you can actually achieve that end? For example, give yourself a treat the next three times you avoid overspending in social situations. If you can do this, then finding the root of your issues is much more likely to be achievable and worthwhile in the long term. To us, that sounds like a fantastic method of going forward and developing yourself well.
With these tips – we hope your financial handling can become much more effective, and also more fun.